April 17, 2014

never alone

Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Matthew 26: 56
for the joy that was set before him endured the cross . . .
Hebrews 12:2 

I don't know if it was the awesome #SheReadsTruth devotional I read this morning . . . JD's sermon from the weekend on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, or Tim Keller sermons about the events leading up to Jesus' death . . . but it all just hit me tonight.

When I feel alone . . . when I am lonely because of my circumstances, God gently reminds me that I am not truly alone.

Jesus faced ultimate rejection, ultimate separation from His Father . . . and even His best friends and disciples abandoned Him in His hour of need.

Jesus was more alone and forsaken than I will ever know . . . all so that I would never have to be.

Even if friends reject me, people betray me . . . even if I remain single for this lifetime, I am not alone.

God gives us such a beautiful promise . . . that He will never leave or forsake us if we are His (Hebrews 13:5). That is more precious than anything this world can give us or death can take away.

I feel like my words are not eloquent in this area, so bear with me ;) but it is in God's Word that we find restoration for our souls, so I would encourage you to dwell there.

When Jesus started to cry out, he didn't say, "My friends, my friends!" "My head, my head!" "My hands, my hands!" He said, "My God, my God." On the cross, Jesus was forsaken by God. He said, "My God." That's the language of intimacy. To call anyone "my Susan" or "my John" is affectionate. And biblically, "my God" is covenantal address. It was the way God said someone could address him if he or she had a personal relationship with him. "You shall be my people, and I shall be your God." 
"My God, you have forsaken me." . . . this forsakenness, this loss, was between the Father and the Son, who had loved each other from all eternity. This love was infinitely long, absolutely perfect, and Jesus was losing it. 
Jesus, the maker of the world, was being unmade. Why? Jesus was experiencing our judgement day. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It wasn't a rhetorical question. And the answer is: For you, for me, for us. Jesus was forsaken by God so that we would never have to be. The judgement that should have fallen on us fell instead on Jesus. 
At the moment Jesus Christ died, this massive curtain (in the temple, separating the holy of holies) was ripped open. The tear was from top to bottom, just to make clear who did it. This was God's way of saying, "This is the sacrifice that ends all sacrifices, the way is now open to approach me." Now that Jesus has died, anybody who believes in him can see God, connect to God. The barrier is gone for good.  
If you see Jesus losing the infinite love of his Father out of his infinite love for you, it will melt your hardness. No matter who you are, it will open your eyes and shatter your darkness. You will at long last be able to turn away from all those other things that are dominating your life, addicting you, drawing you away from God.  
- Tim Keller

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